Thomas Cronin
Thomas Cronin
If your faith journey and life in ministry are anything like mine, you have experienced the most breathtaking peaks and dark valleys. Traveling across our vast Diocese and collaborating with the faithful in the vineyard is an honor and a blessing. The opportunity to share my love for Christ and being an instrument of the Holy Spirit is such a gift. I must continue to recognize that I am not the one doing the work alone or the one responsible for saying what comes out of my mouth. “Thank you Holy Spirit for allowing this kid from the Bronx to sound so eloquent!” 

I appreciate the process of tilling the soil and planting seeds, but I often get discouraged or lose patience that we are not doing enough or doing it fast enough. I reflect upon a categorization of our affairs by a priest friend — he asked the question, “Are we caretakers, undertakers or risk takers?” We are not here to manage decline and treat the Church like hospice. I struggle with the circumstance of having things happen in my time versus God’s time.  If the timing is just not right, we must respect God’s timing, but if the timing is delayed due to ineffective structure or process then we must have the courage to identify and address those areas of deficiency. We must be risk takers! We must act with zeal and not let the challenges and busyness of our secular world deter what we are here to achieve as disciples of Christ. It’s easy to talk the talk, but we need to walk the walk.

As risk takers, we need to move swiftly, but not recklessly. Proper planning, contemplation, collaboration, and most importantly — prayer, are essential components required before jumping out of our comfort zone and commencing new initiatives. The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis from my last column is a very important tool that can be utilized in assessing the state of the parish and opening the lines of communication in an effort to complete a strategic plan. 

My opinion is that the more we reminisce about the glory days of old (full churches, lots of religious life vocations, overflowing Catholic school enrollment, etc.) the more we will lose sight of where we need to go. Being a risk taker is scary, but necessary. Taking bold action like the first disciples will determine whether we leave our Church stronger or weaker than how we found it. We need to keep the faith, be strong in word and action, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us. Stay passionate and energetic in ministry. It’s a blessing to do God’s work. Your parish needs you!

Please contact me with any questions about boosting evangelization efforts at your parish at Thomas.Cronin@rcda.org or by visiting https://www.rcda.org/evangelization. Follow me on Instagram: tom_rcda